Gratitude List on Genealogy

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By Whitney McGowan,, Inc. 

With another Thanksgiving upon us, I wanted to write a short list of some of the things I am grateful for that have helped me and others find their ancestors.

First, thanks to our members at who have supported us, believed in us, and have provided us with feedback on how we can make our site better.

I am grateful for my family members who have taken the time to write the names, dates, and places on the back of their photos. Doing this saves has saved a great deal of time and confusion.

I am grateful for websites such as, Footnote, and that contain millions and even billions of records that I can search to find my ancestors… and at a low price! For example, currently has 1.2 billion records on its site. Access to all of these records is available at a discounted price of only $9.95 per month for an annual subscription to the World Collection. Click here for details.

I am grateful for the programmers and developers who created the search engines to make searching by name, keyword, place, and location a possibility.

I am grateful for those individuals who took the time to scan and index all of these records, making it simple for us to access them.

I am grateful for some of my family members who have devoted their lives to doing my family’s genealogy-allowing me to start many generations down the line on my pedigree charts.

I am grateful for technology that allows me to preserve memories now (i.e. audio recorders, .mp3 files, video cameras, computers, etc.).

I am grateful for people and organizations that have created, kept, and maintained records for me, and others, to search.

I am grateful for all the individuals who run and take part in genealogical societies. These individuals put on conferences, preserve and store genealogy records, inform others about family history, and much more.

I am grateful that it is not a necessity for me to travel to places like Ireland and England (although it would be fun) to find census records, wills, land and property records, birth, marriage, and death records that people have microfilmed, containing information about my ancestors.

I am grateful that there are many actual cemeteries (as well as online cemeteries) throughout the world where I can see the actual headstones of my ancestors (containing important information about their lives). I’m also grateful for who the individuals who maintain these cemeteries.

I am grateful for family members who have been willing to let me interview them as they have shared stories about their lives and also provided photos to me.

I am grateful that my mother taught me at a young age the value of keeping a journal. I have been keeping a daily journal now since I was 8! She didn’t talk to me about where I was going to store more than 20 journals. (I have since switched to digital journals.)

During this Thanksgiving holiday take time to be grateful for the things that matter in your life and to thank the individuals who have impacted your life for good.

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